NIC in the News: Like the raven, education brings light to life

North Island College Elder Maggie Sedgemore stands in front of the raven students were asked to place their dreams on. (Photo by Kathy O’Reilly )

At the North Island College orientation Sept. 11, Elder in Residence Maggie Sedgemore compared the traditional story of the raven (Gwa’wina) releasing the light to the enlightenment that occurs through education.

“The raven stole the sun from the box of treasures that the Chief had. The Raven turned himself into a leaf in a stream where the daughter of the Chief gathered water. She brought the water in to the house and drank it. Soon, she became pregnant and gave birth to a little boy.

The little boy became the favourite of the Chief, and when he got bigger he would ask, “Can I play with this treasure box?’ and the grand-father said, “Yes, but don’t touch this box.” But the little boy cried “let me play with that box!” So finally the grandfather relented, and let him play with it, and he opened it, took out the sun, and flew out through the smoke hole, bringing light to the world. Since the raven flew through the smoke hole in the big house, the raven turned black.”

In a written message to students, Sedgemore said, “The raven brings light to the dark-ness; sharing knowledge, education, brings light to the darkness. People can have knowledge and they’ll keep it to themselves, but once they share it with people, it’s like bringing light to the darkness.  We are bringing education to the world; we are bringing education about our people to the world, for reconciliation.”

Students, community members, staff, faculty were asked to write a dream they have for the future on a feather to place on a large raven on the wall, said Campus Coordinator Caitlin Hartnett.

- Kathy O'Reilly, North Island Eagle

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